CARDINAL VIRTUE: Burke Suffers for the Unborn, by Michael J. MattAugust 20, 2021
‘Mass Pass’ for the Faithful? by Juliana Freitag August 20, 2021
By Raymond J. de Souza, First Things, 8 . 20 . 21
Raymond J. de Souza is a priest in the archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario.
In late June, just as I was arriving in Kraków, Poland, for the annual seminar in Catholic social teaching organized by George Weigel, there was a minor kerfuffle about a personal letter that Pope Francis had sent to Fr. James Martin, S.J. It brought to mind another private papal letter from twenty-seven years ago. Private correspondence, selectively shared, is one way that popes choose their interpreters.
Just weeks before the letter from Pope Francis, Fr. Martin had lamented that same-sex couples could not have their unions blessed by a priest. Fr. Martin chose to make his private letter public, arguing that the Holy Father supported his ministry of “building a bridge,” as his 2017 book put it, to gay and transgender individuals. …